As some of you know, I visited New Orleans recently and ate a lot of food. Southern food is as charming as the sweet folk that have cooked those dishes for years, they are special and comforting and in many ways envelopes you like a warm hug of love. That’s how I feel everytime I’m down in the South visiting. Grits are one of the most comforting textures you can feel on your tongue, it reminds me of semolina porridge that I ate in India at breakfast.
As an ode to the South, I’ve created this dessert made with sweet grits. On this bed of sweet grits sits the most delicious and aromatic batch of figs infused with Pernod Classic and tangerines. It’s the right combination of fruity sweetness and floral flavors to accompany something as delicious of the texture of grits.
It’s best to start with dried figs than fresh figs for this particular recipe because they will act like a sponge and absorb the flavors in the tangerine and the versatile star anise and herbs of the Pernod Classic. It’s infusion at its best! It’s infusion at its best!
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing this dessert;
You can use any type of dried figs, dark, golden, they will all work well in this combination, just make sure they’re dry.
I like the taste of tangerine juice versus regular orange juice here but if it’s difficult to find you can substitute orange juice.
I’ve also served these figs as is without grits. It makes a tasty addition to a cheese tray and can be served warm or cold.
For the grits
yields: 2 servings
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon tangerine/orange zest
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup grits
Add all the ingredients from the milk to the salt in a medium-sized saucepan and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly stir the grits into the liquid and mix evenly.
Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the contents of the saucepan to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid, reduce heat and cook for about 25 to 30 minutes until creamy smooth. Add a little more milk if necessary but the grits when soft and creamy like a thick porridge. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the caramelized figs
yields: 2 servings
12 dried figs, sliced lengthwise in half
½ cup tangerine/orange juice
1 cup water
3 tablespoons Pernod Classic
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and allow to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and a thick sauce is left behind. This should take about 20 minutes. Continue to cook until the sauce starts to caramelize, stirring to coat the figs evenly. The sauce will be dark orange in color. if the sauce gets too thick, you can add a tablespoon or two of water and to thin the sauce. Remove from stove and keep warm.
To serve, divide the grits equally between two individual serving bowls. Top each bowl of grits with half of the caramelized figs and serve warm.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Pernod Classic. All opinions expressed are solely my own.